'The guys that came on looked very, very sharp which is pleasing'


THE ECONOMIC downturn, referred to by Taoiseach Enda Kenny when he performed the official opening of the new €18 million Elvery’s McHale Park before throw-in, might account somewhat for Leitrim’s dismal performance but it hardly explains a 22-point drubbing.

The quandary for Mayo manager James Horan is were Mayo that good or were Leitrim that bad? The second-half collapse would suggest the latter despite the fact four of his substitutes scored and 10 of the starting 15 also found the target. He was quick to quell any smugness or arrogance.

“There was a lot of rustiness out there and we made a lot of mistakes,” he said before accepting his team worked hard and it is plain to be see players are fighting for their right to be in the Connacht final team.

“The guys we brought in did very well, particularly up front and we still have the two O’Sheas to consider,” he said, a reference to the fact the Breaffy brothers may still be part of the midfield equation when he sits down to pick the team to go into battle against Sligo.

“At the moment there is good competition for paces, particularly in midfield and that is essential.”

But given the outcome it was difficult to put Mayo’s true form into perspective. “When you are running away with it, it can be easy to come on to a team that is so dominant. But the guys that came on looked very, very sharp which is very pleasing.

And the long break since the league final? “We prepared well and I think it showed. Our games next weekend in the club championship will be tough and training will be very competitive. They go back to their clubs and we’ll get them back from the end of the week so we’ll take it from there.”

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